Create more value with tiny bets in all areas of your work

Today, I want to share how valuable the principle of “tiny bets” can be for you.

Tiny bets lead to a ton of learning and increases your luck surface area.

Unfortunately, tiny bets are an under-appreciated and under-applied strategy by many professionals because they are interested in big wins.

Opportunity is a portfolio game

“Go big or go home” may be the worst advice that is routinely quoted by people that want to sound like they are doing something important.

Going big leads to a number of failure modes.

  • You’re putting all of your eggs in one basket. You don’t need me to remind you of this age-old proverb. It’s not good when investing and not good in your professional work.
  • You narrow your focus and create more blind spots. Successful professionals (leader/entrepreneur/change maker) with a wider, more open view see threats and opportunities that others miss.
  • You slow learning your learning. Being exposed to more ideas, experiences and information leads to learning that compounds over time. 

So instead of going big, here’s 4 ways to make tiny bets pay off for you:

  1. Subscribe to newsletters, buy books, try online training
    Life-long learning really is a thing. And it’s easier than ever to get access to unique, helpful and relevant education right from your browser.
    Don’t hesitate to signup, consume a taste of the content and see if there is value for you. If so, great! If not, unsubscribe or cancel. No harm, no foul.
  2. Sign up for free or low-cost service trials
    The pace of innovation is so fast, no-one is aware of all that is possible. What’s that funny-named web business someone just mentioned? Sign up to see what they do.
    What is online therapy really like? What’s this CBD subscription all about? Too Good To Go mobile app that provides heavily discounted to-go items in a surprise bag in limited quantities? Sign me up – I want to learn what’s going on!
  3. Give staff members new opportunities all the time
    I was often frustrated in my own company when people were overlooked for interesting, low-risk opportunities because “they weren’t ready yet.”
    As a leader, look to offer next-step opportunities to your staff as often as possible. For every single disappointment, you’ll have numerous people growing into new roles and surprising you!
  4. Use a new tool or framework on your next project
    It’s easy to get hyper-efficient and comfortable with the tools you use to do your work. But then you miss the big shift that happens little by little and then all at once. Your learning curve to switch now seems insurmountable.
    Give new tools and approaches a try. Will your current task take longer? Yes. But over time, you’ll be in-tune with the important evolution happening and can make thoughtful decisions about how you will navigate the change.

Build your career on Tiny Bets

These tiny bets and others (take on small clients as some will turn into big clients) have been the foundation of my professional career. Many may see you as unfocused or not having a clear strategy.

But engaging in tiny bets is one of the most powerful strategies you can have for seeing new opportunities, understanding how the future is unfolding and creating value in new and (to others) surprising ways.

What little things will you bet on this week?

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